Dennis Kowal Architects offices win Preservation Award
Converting a 1890 county post office into an office for the 21st century was no small task. Fortunately, the three story Main Street masonry building had much of the original fabric from double-rolled German glass to the pressed metal ceilings. The hundred years of neglect were a blessing in disguise because no one had renovated (spelled “destroyed”) the building through the years with modernization. Missing doors, trim, and wainscot in the main user areas were borrowed from hidden areas to restore the major interiors. Yet, new data, power, HVAC and fiber optic lines needed to be inserted in a building that had brick interior walls and no space above the tin ceilings to run ductwork and power.
One clever solution involved adding a high and low voltage baseboard wiremold that distributed the CAT6 and new power circuits. Capped with the original baseboard wood trim, the wiremold blended into the interior and provided connectivity throughout the building. All previous ceiling-hung lighting was removed and the holes repaired; new concealed up-lighting uses the entire decorative ceiling as a reflected light source.
The renovated facility was filled with antique furniture and new cherry furniture that concealed power and data and the computer screens using a below-the-desk monitors. Lateral files were concealed behind cherry chest of drawers giving the completed facility more a New York townhouse look than a modern office building. The completed building won the County Cultural & Heritage Commission award for Historic Preservation and Adaptive Use.
Dennis Kowal Architects believe recycling buildings saves energy and the environment
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